The folks who sold us Puzzle and Dory told us that Dory would probably calve in very early May, and she probably will. Just in the past few days her udder has begun to swell prodigiously, one of the early indicators.
Dory always seemed to be the more skittish of the two, which had us worried about being able to lead her to and from the barn for milking. The kids got a halter onto Puzzle while she was in the milking stanchion, and soon enough she would lead OK. They tried the same with Dory, but couldn’t even get her to stay in the stanchion; the one time they got her in, she actually managed to duck under the side and escape (the design has since been modified).
Maggie is a patient and steady worker, and she spent hours each day working with Dory, grooming her and feeding her alfalfa pellets and even singing to her. And while Chris and I were away at jam camp, we called home one night and found out that she had managed to put the halter on Dory with absolutely no problem; in fact, she put it on, then took it off to adjust it, then put it back on, while Dory just stood quietly.
Now it turns out that Dory is much better on the lead. Maggie has been bringing them alternately up to the house and picketing them in the very grassy yard. Dory practically gallops along, while Puzzle plods and quite often decides that the grass along the way needs to be eaten a bit before proceeding.
Flies are getting to be a problem. The cows are both covered with them, not only while in the barn but in the field. We do plan to start following the cows with chickens, which we hope will be some help.
The wild onion problem is almost gone. The suggestion we got which helped the most was to let the milk container stand open in the refrigerator; that eliminated much of the bad taste and smell. But I think that the changing pasture is also eliminating the problem. Although still there, the smell is not as strong in the fresh milk, and in the past couple of days we’ve drunk batches which have no trace of the bad smell or taste.